Simon Fowler Traditional Estate Work
Training Courses
Training Course Programme Course Booking Terms & Conditions
To view our courses (from where you can book) or to view our terms & conditions click on the links above.
Hurdle Course
Shelter is provided during inclement weather.
We offer a set programme of weekend courses on a range of rural crafts through the year. These provide sufficient practical instruction for you to be able to put into practice these crafts at home. Previous experience is not necessary to attend a set course.

A Willow Hurdle
Everyone gets a chance to work at their own pace.

We are able to run courses for interested groups or organisations on other dates, either at weekends or during the week. These can be tailored to your requirements wherever possible. For certain activities we may be able to come to you. Groups need at be a minimum of four people. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Hurdle Course
Instruction is given at every stage.
Advanced Training

We also offer more intensive instruction during the week, working alongside a craftsman within a real work situation. Our aim is to provide greater one-to-one tuition with no more than 2 or 3 students. Such in-depth tuition allows us to pursue the finer details of the craft, from the harvesting and selection of the raw materials to the final finishing techniques and the product`s end use. We would cover everything from start to finish, including tool sharpening and maintenance, how to overcome specific problems, cover techniques to a greater depth than is possible on a weekend course, and to the installation of the final product.

Hurdle Course
Individual help is the aim of the course.
Many of the crafts we cover in this way are seasonal, so we advise you contact us well in advance to ensure we can accommodate you.

Activities we cover include hedgelaying, coppicing, cleft or riven fencing, gate hurdles and wattle hurdles.

Bespoke Cleft Fencing
Courses for groups, such as volunteer trusts, are available and can be tailored for specific projects.
We aim to be adaptable to your specific requirements and to be flexible on the number of days you spend with us. Each day with us can run consecutively or be spaced out over a number of weeks.

Prices start at £90.00 a day and may vary according to your exact requirements. Please phone to discuss things further.

Simon Fowler Cleaving Rails
Tough boots, preferably steel toe caps, and outdoor clothes/work wear is advisable.
The Venue

Our course centre is at Sparklow Wood, a mature beech and sycamore woodland set in the Peak National Park, which we lease from the Peak Park Authority. This is a working woodland managed by us for its timber, in order to create a wood of large mature trees. The courses we run take place in a central clearing, covered by tarpaulins during inclement weather. Hand washing and toilet facilities are provided and a stone built fireplace keeps the kettle hot!

Hedgelaying Course
Hedgelaying courses are located at a suitable hedge somewhere within Derbyshire.
Course Tutors

All our trainers are very skilled in their respective crafts and have at least ten to fifteen years experience as tutors on a variety of courses. All have nationally recognised training qualifications and all make their living from their crafts.

The courses are adequately covered by public liability insurance and a qualified First Aider at Work will be on hand at all times.

Hedgelaying Course
For hedgelaying and cleft fencing courses we often work in pairs.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available throughout the day. A lunch of home made soup with bread and cheese and fruit to follow is provided.

What to Bring

All courses are held outdoors so we advise bringing warm clothing and stout boots. All but for the hedgelaying course are held at Sparklow Wood where cover from the elements is provided. The hedgelaying course is held where a suitable hedge exists and so we recommend bringing a set of full waterproofs. Laying a thorn hedge can cause damage to clothes so we advise wearing old outdoor garments, the thicker the better.

You may wish to bring a pad and pencil to make any notes during the course.

Finished Gate Hurdles
For wattle and gate hurdle making courses, everyone gets to take home what they have made.
Tools and Equipment

We use top of the range quality tools on each course, all of which are professionally sharpened. The various jigs and devices necessary are provided along with the raw materials ready for processing.

Tools are available for purchase at the end of the course.

Using a Shave Horse
Advanced training whilst working alongside the tutor in a real work situation.
Overnight Accommodation

Unfortunately we are unable to directly provide accommodation for those wishing to stay overnight. However, we can provide a list of B&Bs, campsites and pubs, which serve an evening meal; all of which are no more than ten minutes drive from Sparklow Wood. One or two are within walking distance.

Please see the Booking Form to request this list.

Training Course Programme
3 - 4 th February Weekend 2018Hedgelaying150.00 inc. VATBook
28 th April 2018One day willow hurdle making 75 inc. VATBook
9 -10 th June Weekend 2018Hurdle Making150.00 plus 20 materials inc. VATBook
7 - 8 th July Weekend 2018Cleft Fenciing150.00 inc, VATBook

To book a place on a course click "Book" to the right of the course you are interested in.
Powered by Dark Peak Technologies